Dragonknight’s review published on Letterboxd:
Film #57 of Project 90
”Don't let yourself get attached to anything you are not willing to walk out on in 30 seconds flat if you feel the heat around the corner.”
Michael Mann is at his most exciting form here, with Heat he once again tells the story of lonely men who can’t live a regular life, men who are doomed to live a painful life where it is impossible to achieve peace and delight, his heroes aren’t made to enjoy life, they should fight for their salvation till the end and that salvation often costs them dearly. What makes Heat so unique is that here we have two men who are supposed to fight each other and beat each other but as story goes ahead they realize that both of them are looking for the same thing, they may take separate ways but both of them are looking for the same destination. This is a collection of smartness and thrill and with two breathtaking performances from two acting icons who take their roles seriously and give it everything, Heat is a majestic and staggering crime thriller from a director who can portray the complexities and moral challenges of gangsters better than anyone else.
Heat is a tale of two men who involve in a doomed and pointless cat and mouse game and Mann’s unique way of developing them as the plot evolves makes it impossible for us to take our eyes off the screen, soon we realize that these two are actually sides of the same coin, Pacino and De Niro both are absolutely phenomenal in their portrays of these two emotionally complicated and spiritually shattered men. Heat removes that clear line between hero and villain, you can’t have sympathy for just one of these two, you can’t simply choose one side here, this is a story about a cop and a criminal but for Mann it is not as simple as that, he seems two men with paradoxical characteristics and paralyzing doubts, his characters are not sure about anything and neither do we. Both of them are heroes and both of them are villains. This is hos complex, dark and unpredictable the universe of Michael Mann is.
And it is not just Mann’s excellent character development that makes Heat a great experience, he choreographs the action scenes with supremacy and power and by using Elliot Goldenthal’s heart-stopping score and a powerhouse editing he makes those scenes spine-chilling and suspenseful, Dante Spinotti’s camera captures all the darkness and doubt that surrounds the world of these gangsters and adds another layer to this grand story. With two unsurprisingly impressive performances from two mega actors, a twisty plot and Mann’s unmatched ability of creating memorable and technically superb action scenes Heat is a film that is hard to forget.